Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Celebrating NVC

Boy, did Trin and I have a blow-up yesterday!

First, he brought snakes into the house, even though the night before Kristin emphasized emphatically that she didn't want snakes in the house. When I asked him to take them outside, he refused. (Fair to say, I think I worded it nicely, but it was not a request – it was a demand.) I finally forced him outside with them. Then, when he came in without them, I tried to tell him how annoyed I was about the whole thing.

He stuck his tongue out at me.

I about lost it. I was already angry, but that triggered me so badly that I grabbed him and picked him up. I yelled at him. I threatened to throw him outside with the snakes. And then I realized I was going to0 far, so I snarled, "I need a time out!" I stomped off, slamming the door behind me.

Ten minutes later, I called Kristin, and told her about it. She gave me a little empathy, and then I put Trinidad on the other phone, and went out into the garage so I wouldn't be in the same room with him.

Kristin asked Trin for his story, and that's when I realized he hadn't heard a word I said before sticking out his tongue. He gave a detailed, accurate, and objective account of the entire exchange – no judgments or evaluations, just simple observation – except that he said I'd just told him to go outside, before he stuck out his tongue. I didn't, I said that right after; but he had no memory of me saying anything else, and he knew I'd said something. (Memo to self: Connect first!)

K gave Trin a little empathy, and then asked for my story. I told it with less clarity and lack of judgment than Trin, going beyond observation to include evaluations and guesses about Trin's thoughts. K straightened me out on that, and then gave me a little more empathy.

And something shifted. It shifted in me, and it shifted in Trin.

I went into the living room, where he was. I held out my hand to him. He came to me and hugged me. I sat down on the couch, and he laid across my lap with his head resting on my arm. We cried. I told him I loved him, and he said he loved me, over and over.

The rest of the evening went very well indeed. When it got dark and I said I wanted to close the blinds and lock up the chickens, Trin jumped up and volunteered to do it himself – and he did. We – Sam, Trin and I – played with the boys' legos for a while. And when I said I was going to bed, he hastened into his pajamas, brushed his teeth, and climbed into bed before I could even get ready. No arguments. No crying. Easy, peaceful, and connected.

How sweet it was.

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Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our